Developing the Nuclear Industry Workforce

Concerns about rising electricity demand and clean air are among the factors driving interest in nuclear technology. Nuclear energy is the only electricity source that can generate electricity 24/7 reliably, efficiently and with no greenhouse-gas emissions. NPI is developing the human resources and preparing the workforce for the current nuclear power plants and the potential new reactors to be built in Texas and around the country. These vital workforce needs are being met through a broad partnership with industry, two year community and technical colleges, four year universities, high schools, middle schools, science and math teachers, state government, Federal agencies, and elected and civic leaders.

Skilled Workers Are Needed for Existing and New Reactors

Two thirds of these will require associate degrees with specialization in:

  • Nuclear power plant systems
  • Radiation protection
  • Digital instrumentation and control

Also needed: engineers with undergraduate degrees in:

  • Nuclear engineering
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Chemical engineering
  • Electrical engineering
  • Engineering technology
  • Engineering physics 
Knowledge of nuclear power plant technology is required.

The NPI partnership and programs are meeting all these needs.

Why Nuclear Power? People working in the field are optimistic about nuclear power because

  • The energy produced per amount of material consumed is the highest available;
  • Uranium-235 can produce 3.7 million times as much energy as the same amount of coal;
  • Costs are competitive with coal, the major source used in the world;
  • Uranium, the source material, is abundant;
  • Plutonium, a by-product of commercial nuclear plant operation, can also be used as a fuel;
  • Nuclear energy produces less waste than any major energy production process; and
  • Nuclear power plants do not pollute our air by avoiding carbon dioxide emissions.